(Topic ID: 145046)

Start from Scratch Gameroom, total Newbie need advice


By ramsfan

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 25 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by heatwave
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 3 years ago

Hi All - saved all my life to have a gameroom, and here we are.... Basement is ready. I bought a new SuperChexx Dome hockey on the strong recommendation from a good friend. I am ordering Pool table and shuffleboard tomorrow, after way too much research.

I would like to buy 2-3 pinballs, and possibly a skee ball or ball bowler.

I live in Saint Louis area, and there seems to be a great group of Saint Louis area folks on this site, that I just came across in the last few weeks.

Any advice on which pinballs, where to get good pins or ball bowlers, etc... Here is some things I am leaning towards.

I have kids, so I do not want any adult themed pins. Friends of mine have several pinballs, and they rave about Williams Indiana Jones, so that is my top choice. Also, heard great things about Addams Family... From there, Tron, AC/DC, Funhouse, all come to mind....

My uncle had a ball bowler, and it was totally cool, so that is why I am thinking about these. I have one very young child, so also considering skee ball, if i have space.

Thanks in advance!!!

#2 3 years ago

For pin advice you have to play them, what I consider fun you might not. Try a local arcade or this forum to reach out and play some of the titles you mentioned. Congrats on your game room!

#3 3 years ago

I'd stay away from Skee ball. Bowl bowlers are cool, but they are biiiiiiig. But sounds like you might have the space.

You're going to hear a lot that you should test out the machines before you buy them to see if you really like them.

#4 3 years ago

AcDc might be a bit adult themed. Not horrible, but there are naked ladies and (or half naked) on the DMD for example, the songs Rosie and Hell this and that may not be appropriate.

My 2c

Tron is great, but IMO my best family friendly and all around great pins are more stop and go such as PotC and Tspp (incidentally two of the best pins ever made).

TAF is great, IJ, CFTBL a lot of great older pins as well.

#5 3 years ago

Keep room for more than 2-3 pinballs. If you have room for a pool table, bowler, shuffleboard, super chexx, and skee ball maybe space isn't an issue for you, but you're going to want more than 2-3 pins. Just a heads up. I bought my house when I had 2 games thinking a room that could comfortably fit 5 was totally enough. That room now has 6 and I had to refinish my garage to fit more stuff.

#6 3 years ago

You have to buy what you like. Everyone has different tastes and decor, mine is early 1960's South St. Louis or Baden bars. That's what I remember growing up, that's what I like. I buy more for the look of the machine than how it plays because I look at them more than I play them. I have added a skeeball and that is the most popular machine I have.

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#7 3 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

I'd stay away from Skee ball. Bowl bowlers are cool, but they are biiiiiiig. But sounds like you might have the space.
You're going to hear a lot that you should test out the machines before you buy them to see if you really like them.

Skeball is easily the most played game in my game room for all ages. And by an absolute longshot. Killer multi player too

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from jrivelli:

Skeball is easily the most played game in my game room for all ages. And by an absolute longshot. Killer multi player too

OP sounds like he's making a room for guests more than his own personal enjoyment (lots of multiplayer games anyway). I think skee ball fits perfectly in that kind of space. If you're making a room primarily for your own enjoyment, I can see skee ball getting old, at least for the space it takes up.

Also OP if you get a skee ball, get a damn 13ft SKEE BALL, and not some Ice Ball, Dunk The Alien, Beer Ball nonsense!

#9 3 years ago

Step 1: Buy cool stuff
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Profit!

On a serious note get a TSPP for sure

#10 3 years ago

everyone likes monopoly pinball

#11 3 years ago

If you buy 2 or 3 pinball machines you will want 3-5 more, so...save the hassle and skip the pool table now rather than sell it for a big loss later like I did

Also--plan for a skee ball or ball bowler...and again, skip the pool table, they take up way too much real estate.

#12 3 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

so...save the hassle and skip the pool table now rather than sell it for a big loss later like I did

haha so true. I got a free one with my house...and it was the first thing i wanted out the door.

#13 3 years ago

You have a bunch of good resources in the STL area. Tons of local pinheads, CP Pinball, St. Louis Ball Bowler Company etc. I have a ball bowler and it's the best game in the basement IMO.

#14 3 years ago

Yeah, go to CP pinball before they close next month. And StL is practically a bowler headquarters these days.

Well Chad, your bowler is only like the most awesome one made.

#15 3 years ago

Jumping on the CP PINBALL pile, get there before they close!

Also check out Amini in Chesterfield, great selection of games, new and used, to try out under no pressure. I've never bought anything from them, too expensive, but it's my go to spot for trying out games. I'll be trying out there GOT soon

#16 3 years ago

All, thanks so much for the replies so far, very very helpful! DefaultGen is correct, i am building this out for guests as much as myself, that is how I am wired, right or wrong!

I really appreciate the ideas, very helpful, keep them coming!

#17 3 years ago
Quoted from SealClubber:

Yeah, go to CP pinball before they close next month.

Quoted from tacshose:

Jumping on the CP PINBALL pile, get there before they close!

CP Pinball is shutting its doors for good? That sucks.

#18 3 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

haha so true. I got a free one with my house...and it was the first thing i wanted out the door.

Be sure to keep an eye on craigslist. There's always someone trying to get rid of one cheap when they're moving and can't take it with them.

Also, don't feel like you have to fill up the room all at once. One game will draw in others like a magnet, so it will happen in no time.

#19 3 years ago

Call Chris at St Louis Ball Bowler, Im sure you could go right to his Warehouse and he could show you different Bowlers? Chris is top notch and wont steer you wrong.

#20 3 years ago

Hi I am shocked from CP pinball I have some games for sale I sell clean recently Price games that you should not have a problem with if you do I can always help in the end you say you are building a game for your guests I think that is completely the wrong way to do it you will soon find that no one is coming over and you'll have to look at all that stuff yourself so you might want to enjoy it for yourself this coming from a guy with 100 pinball machines open to the public

#21 3 years ago

Sorry my name is Chuck not shocked

#22 3 years ago

Like others have said, leave room for more pins because you will probably enjoy them the most for yourself but guests love my cd jukebox, megatouch and big buck hunter vid so I would suggest any of those. It seems you can get a nice cd jukebox these days for not much money, bbh and megatouch can be had cheap these days too. Pins I would suggest are shadow, fish tales, tommy, getaway, indy 500 all won't break the bank. Just look at the top 150 and find themes you like.

#23 3 years ago

Take a couple of hours and look at the Pinside gameroom thread.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/lets-see-pic-of-games-rooms

A 60 or 96 in 1 classic arcade board in a classic arcade cab or newer reunion cabinet is fun. A ping pong top for your pool table can be a good change from pool for $200. A high top table for people to sit at and play games on is key. A small area, at least, with cabinets, counter and fridge is a good idea. Have a tv area with a sectional to watch a game or movie. Closed off media rooms are used less and less with people I know.

I do not recommend a bar if you have kids. Do you really want your kids sitting at a bar drinking sodas with their friends? Plan out your wiring and lighting carefully if you are finishing the walls and ceilings.

TAF is great for newbies and pinheads. Star Trek has a great all round theme for any age. Spider-Man is a good one. Whirlwind is a good bang for your buck game for everyone. Play tons of pins first before you buy! Ask your wife's opinion about the themes. She might not like Rudy.

4 weeks later
#24 3 years ago

I did the same thing. Ball bowler, pins and arcade games. Kids seem to love Jurrasic Park. It is a really fun and under rated pin in my opinion. Also, I love my 1964 Chicago Coin Majestic 16 foot ball bowler. The best mix of looks and games in the world of bowlers. Chris has really helped me with parts for it, he has everything for ball bowlers.

1 week later
#25 3 years ago

Ramsfan -

A lot of good advice. A few thoughts after having my own small collection for 10+ years:

- Definitely find games that you like to play (or at least think you like to play) as much of the time you will be playing solo

- It is fun to have games for others and/or multi-player games (like Super Chexx). If you have room, you probably can't go wrong with a skee-ball or ball bowler.

- Another type you might want to consider is a pitch and bat. All good St Louis residents love baseball and kids really like these games.

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- I am biased toward EM games and if you are going to get a few pinballs, I would recommend that at least one is an electro-mechanical. They have a very different feel and are often easier to understand (less intimidating) for younger (and older!) guests.

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I live in the Fenton area so feel free to PM me and come by an play a few EM games (pinball, pitch and bat and a soccer game that plays very much like Super Chexx).

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Finally, check Craigslist OFTEN for games, it can be frustrating but it's a good source for local games. These games are heavy and shipping costs are high.

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